Hoshino Resorts Tomamu (星野リゾート トマム) is a large ski area in Shimukappu Village (占冠村) which is found in central Hokkaido (北海道). The resort is often referred to simply as Tomamu (トマム) after the mountain on which it is located. Tomamu is one of the best resorts in the region and it can be visited during any time of the year. Not only does the resort offer snow sports but it is home to one of the biggest draws in summer: Mina-Mina Beach (ミナミナビーチ), which is the largest indoor artificial beach in Japan.
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu started as a normal ski resort with ski and snowboarding facilities in 1983. Since then, it has grown into a mega resort with two towers seemingly high enough to reach the clouds, an indoor wave pool, an ice village, golf courses, restaurants and much more. In winter, you can enjoy the ski slopes whether you want to go it alone or take lessons.
If you visit the resort in summer, you can relax at the Mina-Mina Beach, a great place to learn rowing or just go for a good swim. The Unkai Terrace (雲海テラス) at the resort has a restaurant above the clouds which will leave you in wonder; it takes 13 minutes on a gondola to reach the terrace from the resort base at Tomamu.
There are also various other outdoor activities to do during the summer months such as mountain biking, canoeing, hot air ballooning, rafting, fishing and so on. To stay over at the resort, you’ll have the option to either stay at their iconic Tomamu The Tower or at the all-suite Risonare Tomamu hotel.
Mina-Mina is a summer water pool located indoors at the Hoshino Resorts Tomamu where you could spend days relaxing. Sea temperatures in Central Hokkaido often don’t go above 15 degrees in the months of June, July and August. However, you can enjoy swimming at Mina-Mina as it is an all-season pool maintained at the perfect temperature.
The word ‘mina’ comes from the Ainu language meaning ‘smile” and the pool is definitely a place that makes you happy. It is a great place for people of all ages, especially kids. The pool is usually opened from mid-spring to autumn, from April to November.
For those staying at the resort hotel, you can enjoy the pool and its facilities for free. If you’re just planning a visit, it will set you back a worthwhile 2,500 yen for an adult’s day pass, and 1,500 yen for a children’s day pass. You can leave and re-enter the pool as many times as you wish during its operating hours, which is usually between 9 am and11 pm. There are night lights for you to swim when it’s dark outside. If you have tattoos, cover them, and if you have kids below 15, they will need accompanying. The 80m by 30m pool has wave generators that cause different waves, thus giving you the feel of swimming in the sea.
At nighttime, the entire pool lights up in awesome colors, which gives a romantic feel. If you have small kids, you can take them to the shallow part of the pool where plastic toys are provided. If you’d like to chill out, there is an outdoor bath called Kirin-no-yu (木林の湯) which faces the woods. On top of this, there are leisure areas, a sauna and a washing space. The bath facility is free for guests staying at the resort, while visitors from outside pay just a few hundred yen. You can also enjoy the spa facility at the resort near the Mina-Mina beach.
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu welcomes you with open arms at any time of year. If you are planning a visit over summer, be prepared to be amazed by the size of the best wave pool in Japan!